STEM has pretty much been ground into our existence. As you read this there is a teenager cracking into secret codes on a computer program, a middle-aged medical researcher discovering how certain medications are interacting with other medications, and an elderly bridge engineer sharing their life stories about “when they were a youngster”. It truly doesn’t matter whether you fully believe in moving towards a STEM-dominated world or whether you’d rather move back into your ancestor’s simplistic roots- the world as a whole is moving in a direction that favors the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. With this in mind, it may be helpful to assess how you fit into that world. Are you the type that wants to pick and choose what you fully support and what you wish would disappear? Are you embracing this movement to its fullest despite not knowing where it will really end up? Are you just wondering what wondering about STEM could really achieve?
The world of STEM is still evolving. There are no set boundaries, calculated formulas, or perfectly executed strategies that will put a cap on this era of STEM can produce. Why not put your creative thinking skills to the test and start a brainstorming session? You may use the brainstorming questions below as prompts to get you thinking critically about the future of STEM, but it is more important that you start brainstorming new and unique questions of your own. The idea here isn’t that you answer the questions on the page as what would be done in a school setting [though they could certainly be used for that purpose], but really to get in touch with your own thoughts, desires, and skill sets. You may just find out that you are a far more creative and intelligent individual than you ever thought you could be.
Writing PromptsThe prompts below are just general questions that have been created to get you thinking critically in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Try to answer as many questions as interest you to the best of your ability. If you struggle, try assessing whether or not you know what the question is truly asking, what knowledge you have in the subject area, what research you would like to do, the resources that would be required to complete the task, question, equation, or creation and the process that should take place in order to build, create, or solve the request of the prompt you are working on. There are no right or wrong answers to any of these prompts because they were created to help you use your critical thinking skills in a creative way so have fun.
If you could build any structure in the world, what would you build? What materials would you use, who would you employ to build this structure, how would you go about building this structure, and what would you call this structure?
People are actively trying to create flying cars that can be used by real people in real situations. What do you think would have to go into making a successful, affordable, useable flying car?
You have just discovered a new species of animal. What would you name the new species? What does it look like? What does it do? How did you find it? Where did you find it? Why hasn’t it been discovered before?
We are in the age of technology and social media. This technology tracks your internet searches to better deliver relevant content to you whenever possible. Who do you think knows you and your personal interests the best: your best friend or your favorite social media page?
Pick a random object in the room that you are currently in. Design a game that is focused around that object and explain how to play that game, how to win, who the game is targeted towards, and why you invented the game.
You are given a large box, toothpaste, two pencils, a tin can, and a box that is full of screws, nails, gears, and pins. What would you create with this strange set of tools? What would it do and why did you create it?
Imagine that you are trapped in the wilderness with nothing more than the clothes that you are wearing. You know that you will be there for a minimum of a year so you have to work on creating a home, finding a food source, and learning how to interact with your environment. Describe in detail how you would accomplish each of these tasks.
Humans often hear that they are closely related to monkeys- both experience similar emotions and have similar basic needs. If humans have evolved to create technology, medicines, clothing, and other aspects of “civilized life”, why haven’t monkeys?
Cell phones, computers, tablets, and other mobile devices were created to help us connect with others in a fast, efficient, and simple way. Have these technologies actually connected us or have these technologies pushed us further apart?
Complete a drawing of a roller coaster that you have created on your own. Show the measurements that you would use, the materials you would use, and the color choices you would choose. Explain your work in as many details as you can: describe what it does, why you built it, why it is unique, and who would love it.
Almost everyone in a developed country has walked into a grocery store for the majority of the food that they make themselves. This means that quite a few people have never experienced what it is like to eat home-grown, all-natural, unprocessed foods. Do you think that these processed foods have an impact on the body? Do you think that humans will develop an intolerance to home-grown foods after many generations of eating processed foods? What are the consequences of these actions?
STEM is not supported by everyone. If you had to try and convince a non-supporter to support STEM how would you do that? What would you tell them? How could you get them to believe what you are saying without just taking your word for it?
Pick a world problem that you are generally concerned about. How would you go about solving that problem? What would you need? Who would you talk to? What does the process of solving this world problem actually look like?
Remember, these writing prompts are meant to provoke your inner critical thinking skills. You have so much to offer and you deserve to unlock the intelligence that is within you. Once you have given your mind a chance to thoroughly examine the prompts here, create your own and share them with the world. You may be surprised at what you learn when you share your skills with your many friends, family, and loved ones.